The Gift of Giving in Pensacola: Where to Donate Household Items and Make a Difference


Each year, as the holidays approach, I conduct a bit of a household purge. Specifically, for every item coming into the house, an item needs to go out. Not necessarily items of equal value or equal size, just item for item.

My husband created this tradition one year when our children were young. We felt overwhelmed by the volume of toys and clothes. While we are at it, we make a pass through the pantry and donate extra food items we accumulated over the year. My kids join in the process of choosing items to donate or discard from their personal belongings.

Consequently, the tradition served us well and continues today.

Once the items are selected, the questions arise:

Where should I take them?

What non-profit makes the best use of the items received?

Who best serves their clients?

This year, I conducted my research on local places to donate household items and clothing and wanted to share my findings with you.

{This is not a comprehensive list; there are too many worthy recipients to list them all.}

a person holding a box that reads "donate" with clothing items piled on topWaterfront Rescue Mission

388 W. Herman Avenue, Pensacola

Waterfront Rescue Mission primarily serves two populations: those experiencing homelessness or recovering from addiction. They support their missions with monetary donations, specific item donations, and revenue from their chain of not-for-profit thrift stores. One can donate a car, hotel toiletries for the shelter, food for their food bank, or items for the thrift stores. A great place to donate gently used household items, clothing, and books. To learn more about the items they accept, check out their website.

One of my favorite creature comforts: just drive up and drop off. They sort the items into those they can sell and dispose of the ones they cannot.

Manna Food Pantries

3030 N. E Street, Pensacola

Manna Food Pantries provides healthy foods to eligible residents in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. They collaborate with other local agencies to make the best use of available resources. I feel confident in their ability to meet the needs of their clients. In addition to monetary donations, they accept non-perishable food items. Their most needed items include chicken and tuna (canned or packaged), oatmeal individual servings, mixed vegetables with peel-off lids, microwavable dinners, fruit in 100% juice, peanut butter, canned dinners, or canned soups.

Each year, Coastal Moving & Storage conducts a “Fill the Mayflower” food drive leading up to Thanksgiving and donates the proceeds to Manna. Our family participates through either a food or monetary donation. This community project provides a great opportunity to introduce your children to giving to others.

Friends of the West Florida Public Library

239 N Spring Street, Pensacola

If your household is anything like mine, books abound. I’ve always been a big fan of reading an actual book and holding it in my hands, but I end up with too many books. Therefore, old books need to go to make room for new ones.

Some donation spots refuse books. Thankfully, the Friends of the West Florida Public Library welcome them. The FWFPL accepts gently used recent books for both children and adults. In addition, they take albums, DVDs, and mint-condition puzzles. The FWFPL has been supporting the efforts of the West Florida Library for over forty years. For more information on their donation specifications, refer to their website.

rows of used booksPensacola Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Sometimes, the holidays bring new furniture or tools into our homes. What to do with the items being replaced. Well, I can recommend the perfect place. The Pensacola Habitat for Humanity ReStore (6931 N Ninth Avenue, Pensacola) accepts new and gently used home improvement and furniture items. In return, they resell those items to the public at below retail prices. The proceeds support building Habitat homes for Pensacola area families. For more information about the specific items the ReStore accepts, please visit their website.

Santa Rosa Kid’s House

5643 Stewart Street, Milton

Though I live in Escambia County, I want to include donation locations for my Santa Rosa friends. Santa Rosa Kid’s House serves children and families impacted by child abuse. They accept donations of arts and craft supplies, non-perishable food items, and other gently used items for children and teenagers. You can call or email them if you have questions about a specific donation item. You can find more information at

5 silver buckets containing art supplies including colored pencils, scissors and markersDon’t Forget the Animals!

As you sequester items for donation, don’t forget your local pet shelters as drop-off spots. They always need gently used towels and blankets, pet toys, and unopened pet food. The Hotel for Cats and Dogs, Pensacola Humane Society, and the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida request various items throughout the year. Please reach out to the one of your choice with donation questions.

Donating with a Twist

Do you let donation items pile up in corners and closets but never get around to dropping them off? I have an alternative for you – “The Organized Home Mindset” (OHM), a new professional home organizing business in Pensacola.

Purchase a bin for $20 and fill it with items at your leisure. When the bag is full, leave it on your porch, and OHM retrieves it, sorts it, and delivers the items to the appropriate charities.

Easy peasy.

Support a local woman-owned business and clean up your clutter!

“One (Wo)man’s Trash is Another (Wo)man’s Treasure”

The English Proverb above rings true. In the world of abundance that many of us enjoy, our castoffs might be a treasure to someone in need. It’s better for our planet, our neighbors, and our own hearts if we take the time to generously give off the items we no longer desire or need.

As you take time to prepare your home and your heart for the holiday season, consider donating items to the local non-profits included above or a favorite of your own.

Consider commenting with other donation locations. Your non-profit of choice might align perfectly with someone else’s.


volunteers sorting through clothing donations


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